A to Z Challenge 2015 - Day 10 - Jacob's Ladder

J Is For Jacob's Ladder

Preamble: Jacob's Ladder is just one of those movies that demand repeated viewings. It is also one of those movies where every you time you watch it you can get a completely different experience. Not really much I can say other than if you haven't watched it, you need to.


Year: 1990

Rated: R

Summary - After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie , and ex-wife, Sarah , try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer's chiropractor friend, Louis, fails to reach him as he descends into madness.

Directed by: Adrian Lyne

Written by: Bruce Joel Rubin

  • Macaulay Culkin (uncredited) as Gabe Singer
  • Tim Robbins as Jacob "Professor" Singer
  • Elizabeth Peña as Jezebel "Jezzie" Pipkin
  • Danny Aiello as Louis Denardo
  • Matt Craven as Michael Newman
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince as Paul
  • Jason Alexander as Mr. Geary, the lawyer
  • Patricia Kalember as Sarah
  • Eriq La Salle as Frank
  • Ving Rhames as George
  • Brian Tarantina as Doug
  • Anthony Alessandro as Rod
  • Brent Hinkley as Jerry
  • S. Epatha Merkerson as Elsa
  • Kyle Gass as Tony
  • Lewis Black as Jacob's doctor
  • Perry Lang as Jacob's assailant

The Review
This is one of those movies that I'd heard about and it was always on my list to get around to seeing. It shot up the list when I learned it heavily inspired one my favorite gaming titles, 'Silent Hill'. When I watched it, it was easy to see how many filmmakers and TV writers and other creative medium artists this movie affected and inspired. I love the look, sound and overall feel of this movie.

I will not spoil this movie, AT ALL so all I can say is that this movie has great acting, a solid script, a distinctive look and construction and a killer twist ending. At the core of the film, Jacob's Ladder is a subtle film about a man struggling with loss, his faith, and his sanity as he's haunted by visions of demons, his dead son and his soul wrenching time in Vietnam.
Grade: B+

Aces for Acting
  • Tim Robbins
  • Adrian Lyne

Favorite Character
  • Louis Denardo

Best Character Interactions
  • Gabe and Jacob

Best Scene
  • [In 1975] Jacob wakes up in the New York City Subway, dressed as a postal worker and with a copy of the novel The Stranger in his hands. After Jacob finds himself trapped in the underground tunnels of the subway system, he tries to escape via the tracks, where he is nearly hit by a train.

Notable Quotable 
  • Army Officer: Mr. Singer. What an appropriate name for a man who can't shut up.
            Elsa: [reading Jacob's palm] See. According to this, you're already dead. [laughs]

Most Memorable Moment
Jacob: You know you look like an angel, Louie? Like an overgrown cherub. Anyone ever tell you that?
Louis: [smiling] Yeah, you. Every time you see me.
Jacob: You're a lifesaver, Louie.
Louis: [smiling] Yeah, I know.

Did I whet your appetite to watch Jacob's Ladder for the first time or maybe just the first time in a long time?

Be sure to come back Monday when I get back to family fun fare when I discuss Kim Possible: A Stitch in Time.

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